As temperatures rise, homeowners everywhere are trying to find new ways to protect themselves and their electric bills from the heat. One solution to this growing problem, is layers. Los Angeles based architect, Whitney Sander, devised a sort of "sandwich" of eight inch thick expanded polystyrene (the stuff they use to make coffee cups) and high tech reflective foil to make what he calls, "the space blanket". Sander's hyper-insulated construction provides incredible protection from outside heat.
"Bigger is not always better, especially when you live in paradise." Linda, Kailua, HI homeowner via Hawaii Home Remodeling.
Hideaway storage. When dealing with smaller spaces, one of the greatest drawbacks can be a lack of storage space. However, there are plenty of creative storage options that make this a problem of the past. Built in shelves, nooks, cabinets, and cubbies can easily be nestled into any space. Another easy to hide option is drawers which are now being placed under stairs, beds, and even being built into walls.
Get creative with design. For smaller homes, focus on embellishments such as light fixtures, doorknobs, molding, etc.
Appearances can be deceiving. Large sliding glass doors and windows can make any small space appear much larger.
Utilize natural air flow. Keep cool year round with higher ceilings and louvres. Some homeowners find themselves no longer needing A/C or ceilings vans if they are able to natural harness the trade winds through open air spaces.
Most of us, when we think of solar, we typically only picture the big solar panels we see lining the roofs in our neighborhoods. We are all for solar technology but what if you aren't ready to make the leap to panelling your home just yet? I, personally, was incredibly surprised to learn that solar technology actually spans far wider than just roofs and wrist watches. Here are a few of my best finds!
Solar Attic Fans: Attic fans are time-honored tools for cooling homes and commercial buildings throughout Hawaii. These attic fans efficiently release hot air out of the structure. Taking the solar route can not only reduced your air-conditioning consumption but it can also reduce the number of PV panels needed.
Solar Air Conditioning: With solar air conditioning, even Hawaii residents can afford to run the air all day long! These systems utilize the solar energy from the sun throughout the day and are able to keep up throughout the night as well. Plus, no approval needed from HECO!
Solar Water Heaters: Hawaii Home Mag says, "A truly energy-efficient home or business starts with solar water heating." They go on to add that this can bring 30-40% off most family's electricity bills. HawaiiEnergy.com states that installing a water heater can save you at least $600 annually.
Information Credit : Hawaii Home + Remodeling
Here at All-Build lately, there has been a lot of talk about going green. After all, business doesn't have to be just business. We would like to see All-Build Construction be more than just a business. We want to be a business that gives back to our planet and to our community. That is why we would like to start doing renovations designed to increase energy efficiency and reduce the carbon footprint. It is our goal to work in larger, multi-unit buildings, which beyond the great benefits for the climate, also presents great benefits to the owners and tenants. Here is just a few.
For landlords, green buildings put you ahead of the competition. They set you apart from the rest of the market. Each unit becomes more valuable and commands higher rent prices.
Green homes typically rent at a much faster rate as a whole new crowd will be drawn to the property.
Operating costs will lower dramatically, further adding to your bottom line.
There are tax breaks and incentives offered to energy efficient owners.
Nearly all those who invested in energy saving renovations see a return on that investment in less than ten years.
So, why not reduce negative environmental impact and save money at the same time?
A frequent mistake made by homeowners is improperly balancing cost versus value. This typically leaves the contractor with one of two issues; a low cost product that won't last or a high end product with little value.
Too often, people look at the cost of an item without truly incorporating its value. A higher price tag does not necessarily make for better product. However, a low cost item of little value will only cost more in the long run.
Just like with all products, there is a good, better, and best. It is important for each homeowner to decide for themselves which areas they are unwilling to cut costs on and which areas they are willing to spend more on but you don't always have to cut quality to cut costs. This is where an informed contractor can become your lifeline. Here at All Build, we take great pride in giving our clients the best quality possible on any budget!